27th Mar2018

‘The Walking Dead 8×13: Do Not Send Us Astray’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

walking-dead-8x13

A world without Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would be a world where the Saviours are out of control. In this week’s The Walking Dead we see just what this would be like, and the after effects of a battle with a secret silent new killer edge to it.

With Negan out of the picture, Simon (Steven Ogg) is in full control. Taking war to the Hilltop he battles to take out the survivors once and for all. The after effects of this battle are felt by everyone, especially those left at the Hilltop to contemplate the losses the Saviours have brought to them.

If there is one thing to take away from this episode it is that Morgan (Lennie James) is steadily falling off the deep end. Continually visited by the now dead Gavin (Jayson Warner Smith) he is reminded of the events that took place between them. Gavin continually saying “It should have been you!” slowly chips away at Morgan’s mental defences. When he finally snaps (if he hasn’t already) it won’t be pretty.

The main battle for the Hilltop is full of action and well handled. The way the Saviours are herded around the compound shows the stupidity of Simon’s actions. His head on attack leads him to open up his forces to attack, though of course he has his own tricks up his sleeve.

One thing that did annoy me was the injuring of Tara (Alanna Masterson) by Dwight (Austin Amelio). The audience has a more educated view of the attack, and thankfully Tara seems to understand his actions. Daryl (Norman Reedus) is left to play the role of being both pig-headed and stupid, refusing to believe that there is good in Dwight. Hopefully the penny will drop when Tara doesn’t fall to the fate some of the other characters did.

This week we saw the payoff of Negan’s new plan of attack using Walker blood. It works well, but I couldn’t help but wonder where any guards where at Hilltop? After having a battle like the one that took place, people would need to rest, I understand that. What I don’t understand is why there were no guards at all? In the end though, the Walker scene is effective and introduces the new threat, which appears to work well.

During such a scene we can also feel confident that stupid characters will do stupid things, in the name of being plain old stupid. This week Henry (Macsen Lintz) and his need for vengeance is takes on this role. At least some good comes from this scene, waking Maggie (Lauren Cohan) up to the fact that her showing humanity and not slaughtering the captured Saviours actually pays off and that there still is some good in the world.

What this episode shows is the need for vengeance is still greater than the need to look towards a future without conflict. Maggie feels it against Negan, Henry makes stupid mistakes for it, Daryl refuses to let it go, and Morgan is slowly ripping himself apart looking at his own actions. Only after this vengeance is quenched will the survivors actually have a future. Until then we are reminded in every episode that the real monsters in The Walking Dead are the humans, and they succeed in showing it in annoying regularity.

While Do Not Send Us Astray is a good episode of The Walking Dead it does take a few liberties when it comes to setting up its two big action scenes. These can be forgiven though, as the episode does actually give the audience a lot to digest. There is character development, a big battle and plenty of gore from the Walkers. While not perfect, it still delivers where it counts. Maybe next week we can find out Negan’s fate, because when he finally returns to the Saviours, Simon is going to have a lot to answer for.

****½  4.5/5

The Walking Dead airs in the UK on Fox TV, Mondays at 9pm.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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